Stx2 subtyping of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli isolated from cattle in France: detection of a new Stx2 subtype and correlation with additional virulence factors.
ABSTRACT: At least 11 Stx2 variants produced by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) isolated from patients and animals have been described. The Stx2 subtyping of STEC isolated from healthy cows positive for stx(2) (n = 104) or stx(2) and stx(1) (n = 63) was investigated. Stx2vh-b, Stx2 (renamed Stx2-EDL933), and Stx2vh-a were the subtypes mostly detected among the bovine isolates (39.5, 39, and 25.5%, respectively). Stx2e was not present, and subtypes included in the Stx2d group (Stx2d-OX3a, Stx2d-O111, and Stx2d-Ount) were found infrequently among the isolates examined (8.5%). A combination of two distinct Stx2 subtypes was observed among 23.5% of the strains. For the first time, a combination of three subtypes (Stx2-EDL933/Stx2vh-b/Stx2d and Stx2vh-a/Stx2vh-b/Stx2d) was detected (3.5% of the isolates). In addition, bovine STEC harboring stx(1) and one or two stx(2) genes appeared highly cytotoxic toward Vero cells. A new Stx2 subtype (Stx2-NV206), present among 14.5% of the isolates, showed high cytotoxicity for Vero cells. Two amino acid residues (Ser-291 and Glu-297) important for the activation of Stx2 by human intestinal mucus were conserved on the Stx2-NV206 A subunit. The gene encoding Ehx enterohemolysin was prominent among STEC harboring stx(2)-EDL933 alone (78%) or a combination of stx(2)-EDL933 and stx(2)vh-b (85%). In addition, Stx2-EDL933 and/or Stx2vh-b subtypes were highly associated with other putative virulence factors such as Stx1 and EspP extracellular serine protease, but not with EAST1 enterotoxin.
Project description:Stx2e is a primary virulence factor in STEC strains that cause edema disease in neonatal piglets. Though Stx2a and Stx2e are similar, many antibody-based Stx detection kits are designed to detect Stx2a and do not recognize the Stx2e subtype.Four monoclonal antibodies against Stx2e were developed and characterized. Two of these mAbs recognize the B subunit of Stx2e, Stx2f, and to a lesser extent, Stx2b, Stx2c, and Stx2d. The other two mAbs recognize the A subunit of Stx2e, and cross-react with all Stx2 subtypes except Stx2f. The most sensitive sandwich ELISA using these mAbs has a limit of detection for Stx2e of 11.8 pg/mL. The ability of the neutralizing antibody Stx2e-2 to block Stx2e-receptor binding in Vero cells was visualized using immunofluorescence. Combinations of these and previously developed mAbs permit ELISA-based differentiation between closely related Stx2a, Stx2c, and Stx2d (using mAbs Stx2-5/2-1, Stx2-5/2e-2, and Stx2e-3/2e-2, respectively).The sensitive immunoassays developed in this study should augment our capacity to detect Stx2e in porcine environments and biological samples. Moreover, immunoassays that can distinguish between the closely related Stx2a, Stx2c, and Stx2d subtypes can be useful in quickly analyzing Stx subtypes in samples containing more than one strain of STEC.
Project description:Shiga toxin (Stx) is an AB5 ribotoxin made by Stx-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). These organisms cause diarrhea, hemorrhagic colitis and the hemolytic uremic syndrome. STEC make two types of Stxs, Stx1 and/or Stx2. Stx2 has one prototype (a) and six subtypes (b-g), but only STEC that make Stx2a, and/or Stx2c, or Stx2d are associated with severe disease. However, Stx2c is about 10-fold less toxic than Stx2d in vivo despite only two amino acid differences in the A subunit at positions 291 and 297. We made mutations at these two sites to create intermediate toxins between Stx2c and Stx2d, and determined the 50% cytotoxic dose on Vero cells before and after heat treatment, and the 50% lethal dose in mice of the toxins. We found that serine 291 was associated with increased toxicity in vivo and that either amino acid change from that in Stx2c to that in Stx2d increased heat stability. We also assessed the secondary structure of Stx2c and Stx2d by circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy. The CD studies suggest that Stx2c has a less-ordered secondary structure than Stx2d. We conclude that both amino acids at positions 291 and 297 in Stx2c contribute to its decreased stability and in vivo toxicity compared to Stx2d.
Project description:Purified Shiga toxin (Stx) alone is capable of producing systemic complications, including hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), in animal models of disease. Stx includes two major antigenic forms (Stx1 and Stx2), with minor variants of Stx2 (Stx2a to -h). Stx2a is more potent than Stx1. Epidemiologic studies suggest that Stx2 subtypes also differ in potency, but these differences have not been well documented for purified toxin. The relative potencies of five purified Stx2 subtypes, Stx2a, Stx2b, Stx2c, Stx2d, and activated (elastase-cleaved) Stx2d, were studied in vitro by examining protein synthesis inhibition using Vero monkey kidney cells and inhibition of metabolic activity (reduction of resazurin to fluorescent resorufin) using primary human renal proximal tubule epithelial cells (RPTECs). In both RPTECs and Vero cells, Stx2a, Stx2d, and elastase-cleaved Stx2d were at least 25 times more potent than Stx2b and Stx2c. In vivo potency in mice was also assessed. Stx2b and Stx2c had potencies similar to that of Stx1, while Stx2a, Stx2d, and elastase-cleaved Stx2d were 40 to 400 times more potent than Stx1.
Project description:Shiga toxin (Stx) types 1 and 2 are encoded within intact or defective temperate bacteriophages in Stx-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), and expression of these toxins is linked to bacteriophage induction. Among Stx2 variants, only stx(2e) from one human STEC isolate has been reported to be carried within a toxin-converting phage. In this study, we examined the O91:H21 STEC isolate B2F1, which carries two functional alleles for the potent activatable Stx2 variant toxin, Stx2d, for the presence of Stx2d-converting bacteriophages. We first constructed mutants of B2F1 that produced one or the other Stx2d toxin and found that the mutant that produced only Stx2d1 made less toxin than the Stx2d2-producing mutant. Consistent with that result, the Stx2d1-producing mutant was attenuated in a streptomycin-treated mouse model of STEC infection. When the mutants were treated with mitomycin C to promote bacteriophage induction, Vero cell cytotoxicity was elevated only in extracts of the Stx2d1-producing mutant. Additionally, when mice were treated with ciprofloxacin, an antibiotic that induces the O157:H7 Stx2-converting phage, the animals were more susceptible to the Stx2d1-producing mutant. Moreover, an stx(2d1)-containing lysogen was isolated from plaques on strain DH5alpha that had been exposed to lysates of the mutant that produced Stx2d1 only, and supernatants from that lysogen transformed with a plasmid encoding RecA were cytotoxic when the lysogen was induced with mitomycin C. Finally, electron-microscopic examination of extracts from the Stx2d1-producing mutant showed hexagonal particles that resemble the prototypic Stx2-converting phage 933W. Together these observations provide strong evidence that expression of Stx2d1 is bacteriophage associated. We conclude that despite the sequence similarity of the stx(2d1)- and stx(2d2)-flanking regions in B2F1, Stx2d1 expression is repressed within the context of its toxin-converting phage while Stx2d2 expression is independent of phage induction.
Project description:There is considerable heterogeneity among the Shiga toxin type 2 (Stx2) toxins elaborated by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). One such Stx2 variant, the Stx2d mucus-activatable toxin (Stx2dact), is rendered more toxic by the action of elastase present in intestinal mucus, which cleaves the last two amino acids of the A2 portion of the toxin A subunit. We screened 153 STEC isolates from food, animals, and humans for the gene encoding Stx2dact by using a novel one-step PCR procedure. This method targeted the region of stx(2dact) that encodes the elastase recognition site. The presence of stx(2dact) was confirmed by DNA sequencing of the complete toxin genes. Seven STEC isolates from cows (four isolates), meat (two isolates), and a human (one isolate) that carried the putative stx(2dact) gene were identified; all were eae negative, and none was the O157:H7 serotype. Three of the isolates (CVM9322, CVM9557, and CVM9584) also carried stx(1), two (P1332 and P1334) carried stx(1) and stx(2c), and one (CL-15) carried stx(2c). One isolate, P1130, harbored only stx(2dact). The Vero cell cytotoxicities of supernatants from P1130 and stx(1) deletion mutants of CVM9322, CVM9557, and CVM9584 were increased 13- to 30-fold after treatment with porcine elastase. Thus, Stx2dact-producing strains, as detected by our one-step PCR method, can be isolated not only from humans, as previously documented, but also from food and animals. The latter finding has important public health implications based on a recent report from Europe of a link between disease severity and infection with STEC isolates that produce Stx2dact.
Project description:stx(2) genes from 138 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) isolates, of which 127 were of bovine origin (58 serotypes) and 11 of human origin (one serotype; O113:H21), were subtyped. The bovine STEC isolates from Australian cattle carried ehxA and/or eaeA and predominantly possessed stx(2-EDL933) (103 of 127; 81.1%) either in combination with stx(2vhb) (32 of 127; 25.2%) or on its own (52 of 127; 40.4%). Of 22 (90.9%) bovine isolates of serotype O113:H21, a serotype increasingly recovered from patients with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) or hemorrhagic colitis, 20 contained both stx(2-EDL933) and stx(2vhb); 2 isolates contained stx(2vhb) only. Although 7 of 11 (63.6%) human O113:H21 isolates associated with diarrhea possessed stx(2-EDL933), the remaining 4 isolates possessed a combination of stx(2-EDL933) and stx(2vhb). Three of the four were from separate sporadic cases of HUS, and one was from an unknown source.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) are a group of common and potentially deadly intestinal pathogens expressing Shiga toxin (Stx) as a primary virulence factor. Of the two types of Stx, Stx2 is responsible for more severe symptoms during infection, while Stx1 is almost identical to the Shiga toxin from Shigella dysenteriae, a ubiquitous pathogen in developing countries. Although antibodies against Stx1 have been reported, few have reached the affinity needed for assembling highly sensitive immunoassays. Sensitive and affordable immunoassays for Stx1 and Stx2 could help improve detection of STEC in livestock, food, the environment, and in clinical samples resulting in improved food safety and human health.<h4>Method and findings</h4>Three new monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against the B subunit of Stx1 were generated using recombinant toxoid Stx1E167Q and hybridoma technology. These new mAbs recognize all subtypes of Stx1, but do not cross-react with any subtype of Stx2. In addition, they exhibited the ability to neutralize Stx1 toxicity in Vero cell assays. An optimized sandwich ELISA using of a pair of these mAbs had a limit of detection of 8.7 pg/mL, which is superior to any existing assay of this kind. Using one of these Stx1 mAbs in concert with Stx2 mAbs, the presence of hybrid Stx1/Stx2 toxin in the culture media of STEC strains that express both Stx1 and Stx2 was demonstrated.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These new mAbs provide a mix of availability, utility, versatility, and most importantly, increased sensitivity for detection of Stx1. There are numerous potential applications for these mAbs, including low-cost detection assays and therapeutic use. Analysis of hybrid Stx1/2 could provide new insights on the structure, activity, and cellular targets of Shiga toxins.
Project description:Treating Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) gastrointestinal infections is difficult. The utility of antibiotics for STEC treatment is controversial, since antibiotic resistance among STEC isolates is widespread and certain antibiotics dramatically increase the expression of Shiga toxins (Stxs), which are some of the most important virulence factors in STEC. Stxs contribute to life-threatening hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which develops in considerable proportions of patients with STEC infections. Understanding the antibiotic resistance profiles of STEC isolates and the Stx induction potential of promising antibiotics is essential for evaluating any antibiotic treatment of STEC. In this study, 42 O157:H7 or non-O157 STEC isolates (including the "big six" serotypes) were evaluated for their resistance against 22 antibiotics by using an antibiotic array. Tigecycline inhibited the growth of all of the tested STEC isolates and also inhibited the production of Stxs (Stx2 in particular). In combination with neutralizing antibodies to Stx1 and Stx2, the tigecycline-antibody treatment fully protected Vero cells from Stx toxicity, even when the STEC bacteria and the Vero cells were cultured together. The combination of an antibiotic such as tigecycline with neutralizing antibodies presents a promising strategy for future STEC treatments.
Project description:Objectives: The aim of this study was to characterize a collection of 95 Shigatoxin-producing E.coli (STEC) isolated from human patients in Switzerland during 2010-2014. Methods: We performed O and H serotyping and molecular subtyping. Results: The five most common serogroups were O157, O145, O26, O103, and O146. Of the 95 strains, 35 (36.8%) carried stx1 genes only, 43 strains (45.2%) carried stx2 and 17 (17.9%) harbored combinations of stx1 and stx2 genes. Stx1a (42 strains) and stx2a (32 strains) were the most frequently detected stx subtypes. Genes for intimin (eae), hemolysin (hly), iron-regulated adhesion (iha), and the subtilase cytotoxin subtypes subAB1, subAB2-1, subAB2-2, or subAB2-3 were detected in 70.5, 83.2, 74.7, and 20% of the strains, respectively. Multilocus sequence typing assigned the majority (58.9%) of the isolates to five different clonal complexes (CC), 11, 32, 29, 20, and 165, respectively. CC11 included all O157:[H7] and O55:[H7] isolates. CC32 comprised O145:[H28] isolates, and O145:[H25] belonged to sequence type (ST) 342. CC29 contained isolates of the O26:[H11], O111:[H8] and O118:[Hnt] serogroups, and CC20 encompassed isolates of O51:H49/[Hnt] and O103:[H2]. CC165 included isolates typed O80:[H2]-ST301, all harboring stx2d, eae-?, hly, and 66.7% additionally harboring iha. All O80:[H2]-ST301 strains harbored at least 7 genes carried by pS88, a plasmid associated with extraintestinal virulence. Compared to data from Switzerland from the years 2000-2009, an increase of the proportion of non-O157 STEC infections was observed as well as an increase of infections due to STEC O146. By contrast, the prevalence of the highly virulent German clone STEC O26:[H11]-ST29 decreased from 11.3% during 2000-2009 to 1.1% for the time span 2010-2014. The detection of O80:[H2]-ST301 harboring stx2d, eae-?, hly, iha, and pS88 related genes suggests an ongoing emergence in Switzerland of an unusual, highly pathogenic STEC serotype. Conclusions: Serotyping and molecular subtyping of clinical STEC demonstrate that although STEC O157 predominates among STEC isolated from diseased humans, non-O157 STEC infections are increasing in Switzerland, including those due to STEC O146:[H2/H21/H28]-ST442/ST738 harboring subAB variants, and the recently emerged STEC O80:[H2]-ST301 harboring eae-? and pS88 associated extraintestinal pathogenic virulence genes.
Project description:To determine the presence of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and other potentially diarrheagenic E. coli strains in retail meats, 7,258 E. coli isolates collected by the U.S. National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) retail meat program from 2002 to 2007 were screened for Shiga toxin genes. In addition, 1,275 of the E. coli isolates recovered in 2006 were examined for virulence genes specific for other diarrheagenic E. coli strains. Seventeen isolates (16 from ground beef and 1 from a pork chop) were positive for stx genes, including 5 positive for both stx(1) and stx(2), 2 positive for stx(1), and 10 positive for stx(2). The 17 STEC strains belonged to 10 serotypes: O83:H8, O8:H16, O15:H16, O15:H17, O88:H38, ONT:H51, ONT:H2, ONT:H10, ONT:H7, and ONT:H46. None of the STEC isolates contained eae, whereas seven carried enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) hlyA. All except one STEC isolate exhibited toxic effects on Vero cells. DNA sequence analysis showed that the stx(2) genes from five STEC isolates encoded mucus-activatable Stx2d. Subtyping of the 17 STEC isolates by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) yielded 14 distinct restriction patterns. Among the 1,275 isolates from 2006, 11 atypical enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) isolates were identified in addition to 3 STEC isolates. This study demonstrated that retail meats, mainly ground beef, were contaminated with diverse STEC strains. The presence of atypical EPEC strains in retail meat is also of concern due to their potential to cause human infections.